Interviews | May 12, 2020
Worth 1,000 Words: Old Heidelberg
❶ This original 13” x 18” Heidelberg press sits at the Burnsville, Minnesota, headquarters of PSDA manufacturer BCSI, a producer of business cards and stationery. In 1954, when the company was founded in Paul Marchessault’s grandmother’s basement, the press literally made great impressions to customers that needed high-quality print production. When the press moved out of the basement in the mid-1970s, movers had to knock a hole in the home’s foundation to get it out.
❷ The first iteration of the Heidelberg press debuted in 1913. Its most radical feature was a sweeping windmill feeder that featured a double blade, with grippers on both ends, moving in quarter turns from feeding, then to print, then to delivery positions. In 1936, Heidelberg began making cylinder presses like this one, and the speed of the press was raised to 5,000 impressions per hour.
❸ BCSI still occasionally runs the press for letterpress jobs, although it’s also a commemoration of the company’s history of innovation. It’s an impressive history, including automating order entry and invoicing (early 1970s), direct-to-plate technology (late 1970s) and early adoption of e-commerce (1989). Today, BCSI operates four-color and two-color Heidelberg Speedmasters, a PresstekDI, an HP Indigo 7500 and other devices. In 2016, the company was featured on Fox Business Network’s “Manufacturing Marvels” segment.
This edition of Worth 1,000 Words appeared in the April issue of PS Magazine. Read more in the magazine library online. Want to submit a photo to be featured? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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